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Psychophysiologic Disorders, or PPD, is a term developed by a group of doctors, therapists, and former patients to describe symptoms of TMS with a more accurate term. This is a reference page on the development of the change of the term from TMS to PPD.

Problems with TMS

The acronym TMS was first coined by Dr. John Sarno for Tension Myositis Syndrome, later turned into Tension Myoneural Syndrome. The term refers to tension in the muscles (myositis), because initially Sarno diagnosed people with TMS who only had pain. However it soon became clear that muscles were not the only part of the body being affected, but that nerves could also be part of TMS [1]. The term TMS has been met with multiple challenges and oppositions arguing that it does not adequately address all of the manifestations it can be responsible for such as: dry eyes, gastrointestinal disorders, tooth pain, tendinitis, and dermatological conditions. Because of this reason several other doctors and authors developed different terms for the same condition Source.

Dr. Howard Schubiner uses the term the Mindbody Syndrome (MBS)[2], as well as Dr. Marc Sopher (however Sopher still uses the acronym TMS)[3]. Dr. Dave Clarke coined the term Stress Illnesses in his book They Can't Find Anything Wrong [4], while Scott Brady developed Autonomic Overload Syndrome or AOS[5]. With each new book came a new name for the condition. There was an overwhelming influx of names for the same condition that usually proved to be confusing. In order to gain unity and to put forth a clear idea and understanding of the condition one name that clearly identified the condition needed to be developed.

Transition to PPD

In March of 2009 a TMS conference was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan that brought the TMS community together. There was a large amount of enthusiasm for TMS awareness and ideas were discussed about the best way move TMS into mainstream medical community. The enthusiasm was channeled into the creation of a PPD non-profit called the Psychophysiologic Disorders Assocition (PPDA), which also hosted the LA Mind Body Conference in 2010. Members of the Working Group quickly came to consensus that the most effective way to gain awareness would be to develop a new name for TMS, that more accurately describes the condition, and it more acceptable to the medical community.

At the end of the of LA Mind Body Conference the TMS Educational Working Group met with Ed Coughlin and Doug Lynch from Lynchpin Biomedia as well as several other experts in communications and nonprofits. The team at Lynchpin Biomedia suggested that the first priority of the Working Group should be developing a new name and they submitted several recommendations to the group. After careful deliberation, the Working Group unanimously agreed that the term "Psychophysiologic Disorders" (PPD) is the term that will be most effective from a PR perspective, allowing the organization to help the most people, while simultaneously being perfectly accurate. "Psychophysiologic" is a term already regularly used by Dr. Sarno, and it captures the essential that psychological factors lead to real (if usually harmless) changes in a person's body.

As a consequence, the working group adopted the new term to rename itself the Psychophysiologic Disorders Association, or PPDA. [6]


1. Sarno, John. Healing Back Pain. New York: Warner Books. 1991. pg. 9

2.Schubiner, Howard. Unlearn Your Pain. Pleasant Ridge: Mind Body Publishing. 2010. pg. 8

3. Sopher, Marc. To Be Or Not To Be... Pain Free. Bloomington: 2003. pg. 4

4. Clarke, Dave. They Can't Find Anything Wrong. Boulder: First Sentient Publications. 2007.

5. Brady, Scott. Pain Free for Life. New York: Hachette Book Group. 2006. pg. 8

6. Psychophysiologic Disorders Association

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